War of the Rebellion: Serial 010 Page 0022 KY.,TENN.,N.MISS.,N.ALA.,AND SW.VA. Chapter XXII.

Search Civil War Official Records

No. 1. Reports of Brig. General William T. Sherman, U. S. Army, commanding expedition.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION,

Steamer Continental, Savannah, Tenn., March 14, 1862.

SIR: I would suggest, as a precautionary measure, after I pass up the river with one gunboat and my division, that the other gunboat and one division, say Hurlbut's or Wallace's, move up to Pittsburg Landing and there await our return. My belief is that the enemy's force under Cheatham will, after we pass Pittsburg, fall back on Corinth. Yet, if the force at Corinth be already large, Cheatham may remain at or near Pittsburg Landing and embarrass our return.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

Captain McMICHAEL,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, EXPEDITIONARY CORPS,

Steamer Continental, March 15, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that in obedience to the order of the major-general commanding, received at 10 a.m. on the 14th instant, I started from Savannah at 12 m. with my division, embarked in nineteen steamboats, escorted by the gunboat Tyler, Commander Gwin. We proceeded steadily up the river to the mouth of Yellow Creek, reaching that point at Tyler's Landing at 7 p.m. I ordered the immediate debarkation of the cavalry, consisting of six companies of the Fifth Ohio, under command of Major E. G. Ricker, and ordered him, under the guidance of a man named Bird, to proceed by the way of the Red Burnsville, there to tear up and destroy some trestle-work and as much of the railroad as time and the circumstances would permit. I ordered him to take axes, crowbars, and picks, and sent with him one of my chief aides, Major Sanger. It was 11 o'clock at night before he got off, but as the estimated distance of 19 miles caused to be traveled in five hours, I dispatched him that he might execute his work before the news of an arrival could possibly reach Corinth or Iuka, the two points on the railroad held by the enemy in force. The night was very stormy, heavy rain having fallen all day, but at the time of his departure it seemed to clear away; but the rain again began to fall, and continued all night and passed off to-day. The guide was of opinion that the Sandy, the only stream of consequence that had to be passed, would offer no serious obstacles, but the amount of rain was so great that ravines became rapid torrents, creeks became as rivers, and streams such as the Sandy were utterly impassable.

My plan was to follow up with the four brigades of my division to a point about half way, where the road branches to Iuka, and there await the return of the cavalry force, and accordingly ordered the First Brigade, Colonel Hicks, to move at 3 a.m.; the Second Brigade, Colonel Stuart, at 4; the Third Brigade, Colonel Hildebrand, and the Fourth Brigade, Colonel Buckland, and daylight.

Notwithstanding the pouring rain and snow-storm the brigades were